Where did the time go? I feel like I was just researching infant car seats for Evie. Now that she’s 11 month old, it’s time for me to look into the next stage of car seat for her. Back to Snuggle Bugz I went! Funny story, the same Advisor that was there for our Mesa car seat dry-fit was also there on a shopping trip! She couldn’t believe that it was time to transition, either!
I had so many questions about Evie’s ‘big girl seat’. When do you make the switch? What should you know about the car seat you choose? How do you pick the right car seat for you and baby? How do you install it? I had my girl Nyna in store answer all these questions for you (and for me cause who am I kidding. I know nothing about car seats lol).
When is it time to transition to a second stage car seat?
Little one’s height and weight is what decides when baby has outgrown their bucket seat. Every bucket seat has a different weight capacity, so when baby reaches that weight limit OR their head is within 1″ of the top of the seat (whichever comes first), it means it’s time to move up! Typically, baby is between 8-12 months when they reach one or both of these milestones.
How do I know when they’ve grown out of the infant bucket seat?
Now this is tricky to answer. Baby outgrows their infant bucket seat when they reach the weight limit OR when baby’s head is within 1″ of the top of the car seat (whichever comes first). Most babies outgrow their bucket seat by meeting the height capacity before the weight limit BUT there are exceptions.
It’s also okay for baby’s legs to hang over the edge of the bucket seat because it’s only their head that determines when they’ve outgrown their car seat.
How long does my child sit rear-facing?
Longer than you’d think- well definitely longer than I thought! Your child should sit rear-facing until they are 3 years old. 99% of car seats allow your child to sit rear-facing until they are 40 pounds, while some (like Diono) has extended rear-facing that allows your child to sit rear-facing until they are 50 pounds (approximately 6 years old)! After 3 years of age your child can sit forward-facing, but the longer child is kept rear-facing the better.
Will any car seat fit in my vehicle?
Nope. I know, hard to believe right? That’s why heading into Snuggle Bugz to dry-fit a car seat is essential. You may find that some taller seats block your view and some might be too wide. This goes for SUV’s too. Just because you have a larger vehicle doesn’t mean you can fit just any car seat in there. Some SUV’s actually have shorter seats so you can be limited. Who knew? It really does come down to the best fit for your vehicle!
Can I install my car seat in the middle seat of my vehicle?
This is one of the biggest misconceptions. Please read the owner’s manual of your vehicle to make sure you can do this in your vehicle. This is because the UAS clips that buckle and secure the car seat in your vehicle may not exist for the middle seat. If you have a bench seat in your car with 3 seats across, there should be 3 different sets of UAS clips (6 clips total) to allow you to install in the middle seat. You can’t borrow from the outward seats as this could be harmful to your child. For instance, if you get in a car accident, the clips might be pulled in different directions and release entirely. Also make note, rear-facing car seats should only be installed rear facing up to 40 pounds if using a UAS install (they can be installed to car seat’s maximum rear-facing weight if using the vehicle seat belt to install).
If you decide to wash your car seat fabric be sure to put it back on while it’s a little damp. This makes it easier to stretch and fit back on the car seat frame! Thanks for this one Nyna. Evie’s infant seat need a good wash ha!
Now that I have all this info under my belt time for me to decide on the best convertible car seat for me, Evie and our vehicle.